We started off in Barranco Lima and went for lunch with the other PT girls, which was really lovely. Managed to find a restaurant with a pretty little terrace, views of the sea and epic maracuya sours. We had a little wander around Barranco, and by the time we left to get on the night bus to Barranco she´d ticked cerviche and anticuchos off the list of typical Peruvian foods to eat.
|Restaurant in Barranco|
Bus was luxurious bed cama with all films and food and the like so I was happy as larry. Got off the bus though and we´d been wandering round the bus station for a good 15 minutes before I realised my bleach stained work trousers had ripped all along my arse from curling up on the seat haha. Anyway, we got a hotel, had a wander round Arequipa city centre and booked ourselves a two day Colca Canyon tour! Tour was amazing, all the landscapes around Arequipa are so beautiful and of course the deepest canyon in the world was pretty cool as well. To top it off we saw condors at the mirador! Someone can tell you they´re the second biggest bird in the world, but that can´t prepare you for just how fucking HUGE they are. Managed to meet up with Lauren as well, so surreal to meet up with her in Peru still, but awesome. And we went round the Monastaria Santa Catalina which is this convent that used to have around 200 ´hedonistic nuns´ and we were lead round by a madwoman by candle light.
|In Monastaria Santa Catalina - mad woman insisted on taking a picture|
|On Colca Canyon Tour|
Next on the list was Cuzco. We didn´t have much time in the city because we had our trek booked, but enough to get a feel for it. Definately want to go back! We did the Santa Theresa trek up to Machu Pichu which was 5 D/4 N and we were almost in a private group. March is the end of rainy season, but parts were still closed off because of landslides and it´s a less popular time to go. So it was just us and another couple, and they only joined up that day! Also because it was still so rainy we were told to buy ponchos because even gortex waterproofs don´t always work. There was lots of rain and lots of mud, which was nice seen as I live in a dessert! We did a fair few river crossings and hopping over landslides that were blocking the path. One of them was still sliding and big rocks were falling off the edge into the river below so we had to wait an hourish to cross. Loved the excitement. I think the trek was the right amount of a challenge for me and Mum as well although the other couple we were with were really fit and the pace pushed us to the limit at times. Especially because there were so many steep parts - uphill and downhill! On the last day we were at the front with the head chef who was also trained as a guide and he would just leg it round the mountains/jungley hills at high speed in sandles made of old tires and not blink. We were fed up of steep downhill and wanted it over so we pretty much raced/hobbled/slid down the last stretch for a couple hours - hillarious. Then after the trek we had a night in Aguas Calientes and I kid you not I have never been so thankful for a hot shower. Amazing.
|First breakfast on the trek|
|On the trek|
|Mum lookin fly in her poncho|
Then the next morning we went to Machu Pichu! I went before when I did World Challenge, but this time was somehow very different. When we arrived there was this heavy fog that hid it all from sight, but slowly lifted as the day went on and it got really sunny. The guide we had for the trek also gave us a guided tour of Machu Pichu. He was very honest and said that no one really knows exactly why Machu Pichu was built, but that there are lots of credible theories backed up with evidence. The theory he believed was most credible was that it was built as a some kind of University - or place of knowledge. The Incas were so successful in their empire because when they took control of an area they also looked at what knowledge and wisdom the people had that could be useful to them. Machu Pichu could have been a place to bring all that knowledge together and for further study. As we were going round you could hear people talking about all kinds of theories. Another popular one was that it was some kind of holiday resort for the king, but we didn´t think much of that one because there was no grand palace. Theories aside, Machu Pichu is a stunning and breath taking place to see. A small hidden city built on the top of a jungley mountain.
We made our way back to Lima on a Sunday and Mum came to see Ciudad. She had the chance to meet my boys and Anita and Elisa then came to Mass and dinner. It was strange to have her enter my world here, but amazing at the same time. Then we spent our last day in Central Lima, went to Monastario San Francisco and just had a look around.
Project Trust spoke a lot about homesickness and it maybe being worse when you see your parents, but it was nothing like that for me. We had a great holiday and I left in a great mood because of it! I think that´s just something that´s very different for everyone.
P.S. hope you enjoyed that one Grandad!